Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Pondering Pages/Seven Storey Mountain

I read Thomas Merton's Seven Storey Mountain two years ago, but it continues to have an impact on me today. Upon completing the book my first reaction was "I want to go to a monastery! I want to experience that peace, tranquility and solitude with God!" I have not yet had that experience with the exception of an overnight stay at a local hermitage which was blissfully peaceful, but I continue to wait in joyful hope for that day when I will be able to make an extended retreat as a guest at a monastery.

Some of the quotes from Seven Storey Mountain which I hold dear are:

"All that is necessary to be a saint is to want to be one. Don't you believe that God will make you what he created you to be, if you will consent to let Him do it? All you have to do is desire it."

"See who God is! Realize what this Mass is! See Christ here, on the Cross! See his wounds, see his torn hands, see how the King of Glory is crowned with thorns! Do you know what Love is? Here is Love, here on this Cross, here is Love, suffering these nails, these thorns, that scourge loaded with lead, smashed to pieces, bleeding to death because of your sins and bleeding to death because of people who will never know Him, and never thank Him and will never remember His sacrifice. Learn from Him how to love God and how to love men! Learn of this Cross, this Love, how to give your life away to Him."

And finally my favorite:"And when Nancy Flagg was there, she sat in the same sun and combed her long hair, which was marvelous red-gold and I hope she never cuts it short for it gave glory to God." I loved to share this line with my daughter Mary whenever I brushed her hair because she would always cry and scream so loud I thought the whole neighborhood could hear her. I would say "quiet Mary, we're giving glory to God!" and it helped!

Great book, Saintly author! If you have read it before, I know you agree with me, and if you haven't read it, what are you waiting for? Enjoy!


  1. I also love Merton.
    Read his book a long time ago - you've made me want to read it again! :)

  2. This is one I do not have but I just love reading Merton. My favorite is Ascent to Truth which is based on the teachings of St. John of the Cross.

  3. I think I read it about a year ago . . . it's packed in my things and I do want to read it again some time. Carmelite mom mentions one I am interested in getting my hands on. I'm currently reading T. Dubay's Fire Within and finding it a tremendous trough of love!!

  4. Come and visit and see my surprise for you. :-)

  5. I too want to experience life in a monastery! I would just love to be able to be in total and complete silent prayer to God and also being abel to use the talents that He gave me to serve others! I just love Thomas Merton too! We have so much in commom..........mom!:)

  6. How appropriate then Anne that Blessed Elizabeth has just enlightened you to the fact that you HAVE a monastery WITH YOU AT ALL TIMES!
    LOL That was perfect timing, eh?
    Sounds like a great book...I'll be looking for it:)